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Pinned  Planning next steps in the moment

Mar 21 2017 04:10 PM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

Planning for individual children is a statutory requirement.   However, such plans do not have to be written down.  A skilful practitioner is making several hundred “in the moment” plans every day.   



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author: Anna Ephgrave
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featured article text: Planning for individual children is a statutory requirement. However, such plans do not have to be written down. A skilful practitioner is making several hundred “in the moment” plans every day. When children are playing and selecting what to do themselves, they become deeply engaged. While this is happening, the adults should be observing and waiting for a moment in which they feel they can make a difference.
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An early years practitioner in the Millennium:...

Mar 01 2017 03:50 PM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

I spent over twenty rewarding and stimulating years as a classroom teacher in the North of England and for the most part as a senior manager responsible for the early years foundation stage (EYFS). I delighted in working with children and parents and felt hugely privileged to be able to foster relationships and play a role in such a formative time in their lives.  I was immensely proud of my achievements and my work was very much a part of my identity and who I was.   I did not aspire to be a Headteacher as I did not feel that management was a route I would take to achieve my goals. It was also possible that this path could be at variance with my evolving teaching philosophy. I always thought I would stay in the classroom but as those of you who were followers of my posts on the forum will know, this intention did not come to fruition for me and reaching for goals can take unknown paths.

What are your long and short-term goals?

What are your aspirations for the children that you work with?

What needs to be accessible to you to achieve these aspirations?



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  • Sir Andrew Carter OBE (2015) Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training. Viewed online 8th January 2017 
  • BrainU   http://brainu.org/
  • Chudler, E. H., & Bergsman, K. C. (2014). Explain the Brain: Websites to Help Scientists Teach Neuroscience to the General Public. CBE Life Sciences Education, 13(4), 577–583.
  • Nathan Makare Wallis X Factor Education   https://www.facebook.com/NathanMikaereWallis/
  • Winston Churchill Memorial Trust      http://www.wcmt.org.uk/

 

 

author: WChurchill
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featured article text: I spent over twenty rewarding and stimulating years as a classroom teacher in the North of England and for the most part as a senior manager responsible for the early years foundation stage (EYFS). I delighted in working with children and parents and felt hugely privileged to be able to foster relationships and play a role in such a formative time in their lives. I was immensely proud of my achievements and my work was very much a part of my identity and who I was. I did not aspire to be a Headteacher as I did not feel that management was a route I would take to achieve my goals. It was also possible that this path could be at variance with my evolving teaching philosophy. I always thought I would stay in the classroom but as those of you who were followers of my posts on the forum will know, this intention did not come to fruition for me and reaching for goals can take unknown paths.
What are your long and short-term goals?
What are your aspirations for the children that you work with?
What needs to be accessible to you to achieve these aspirations?
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“Working with multilingual children in the Earl...

Feb 15 2017 03:53 PM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

From Spring 2017, all schools will be required to assess and report on English proficiency in the Department for Education (DfE) census for any child with English as an additional language (EAL). As this will include children in maintained nursery schools and classes, as well as those in reception, Dr. Rose Drury’s seminar on working with multilingual children in the early years was very timely.



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Drury R. (2007) Young Bilingual Learners at Home and School: Researching Multilingual Voices.

Gonzalez, N. Moll, L and Amanti, C (2006) Funds of Knowledge: Theorizing Practices in households, Communities and Classrooms.

Robertson L, Drury R and Cable C. (2014). Silencing bilingualism: a day in a life of a bilingual practitioner. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 17(5) pp. 610–623.

author: Kate Cahill
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featured article text: From spring 2017, all schools will be required to assess and report on English proficiency in the Department for Education (DfE) census for any child with English as an additional language (EAL). As this will include children in maintained nursery schools and classes, as well as those in reception, Dr. Rose Drury’s seminar on working with multilingual children in the early years was very timely.
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Everything You Need To Know About Observation -...

Nov 23 2016 04:36 PM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

As a student getting to grips with the world of early years, the word ‘observation’ filled me with fear and trepidation.  I knew it was important but what exactly, was it that I was being asked to do? I didn’t walk around with my eyes shut so why were people asking me to observe?



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Blatchford, I., Sylva, K., Muttock, S., Gilden, R. and Bell, D., 2002. Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years. Norwich:Crown Copyright.

Bruce, T., 2001. Learning Through Play. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Bruce, T., 2005. Early Childhood Education. 3rd Edition. Oxford: Hodder Arnold.

Bruce, T., 2010. Early Childhood: A Guide For Students. 2nd ed. London: Sage.

Department for Education, 2014. Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Runcorn: Department for Education.

Department for Children, Schools and Families, (DCSF), 2008, The Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice Card No. 3.1, Nottingham, DCSF Publications.

Drake, J., 2005. Planning Children’s Play and Learning in the Foundation Stage. London: David Fulton Publishers Ltd.

Dryden, L., Forbes, R., Mukherji, P. and Pound, L., 2005. Essential Early Years. Oxon: Hodder Arnold.

Early Education, 2012. Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). London: Early Education.

Edgington, M., 2004. The Foundation Stage Teacher in Action. Teaching 3,4 and 5 Year olds. 3rd ed. London: Sage.

Ephgrave A., 2015.. The Nursery Year in Action: Following children's interests through the year. Oxon: Routledge.

Harms, T., Clifford RM., Cryer D., 2014. Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3). New York. Teachers College Press; 3 edition

Hutchins, V., 1999. Right from the Start: Effective Planning and Assessment in the Early Years. London: Hodder and Sloughton.

Tassoni, P. and Hucker, K., 2005. Planning Play and the Early Years. 2nd ed. Oxford: Heinemann.

Oxford Dictionaries, 2016. Definition of Observation in english. Oxford University Press. Available from: https://en.oxforddic...ion/observation  [Accessed 27 October 2016].

Sancisi, L. and Edgington, M., 2015. Developing High Quality Observation, Assessment and Planning in the Early Years, Made to Measure. Oxon: Routledge.

Siraj I., Kingston D., Melhuish E., 2015. Assessing Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care: Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being (SSTEW) Scale for 2-5-year-olds provision. London. Trentham books, IOE Press.

Stewart, N., 2016. Development Matters:  A landscape of possibilities, not a roadmap. Early Years Foundation Stage Forum. Available from: http://eyfs.info/art...possibilit-r205

[Accessed 21 November 2016].

author: Michaela Machan
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featured article: Featured
featured article text: As a student getting to grips with the world of early years, the word ‘observation’ filled me with fear and trepidation. I knew it was important but what exactly, was it that I was being asked to do? I didn’t walk around with my eyes shut so why were people asking me to observe?
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What can Play contribute to Early Years Science?

Oct 19 2016 09:13 AM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

We know that children love to play. Play is an intrinsic developmental vehicle by which children develop a plethora of skills through physical play, playing with objects, pretence and game play. This ‘knowledge’ of the importance of play has gained the attention of developmental and educational research, with growing empirical evidence for the positive impact that play has on a child’s holistic development.

 

 



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The Historical Context of Outdoor Learning and...

Jun 06 2016 09:59 AM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

You could be forgiven for thinking that outdoor play is a relatively new phenomenon, driven by The National Trust (2016) and their ‘50 Things to do before you’re 11¾’ project.  Children and being outside seems to be a recurrent theme in the media and with organisations, such as the National Trust, focused on reconnecting people with nature and the outside. Outdoor play is not a new construct; those of us who played outside throughout childhood have fond memories of being at one with nature. 



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Bilton, H., 2010. Outdoor Learning in the Early Years. Management and Innovation. Oxon: Routledge.

Children and Nature Network, 2016. Learn Connect Act. Minneapolis:

Children and Nature Network.  Available from: http://www.childrenandnature.org/ [Accessed 18 January 2016].

Department for Children, Schools and Families., 2008. The Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice Card No. 3.3. Nottingham: DCSF Publications.

Department for Education., 2010. Practitioners’ Experience of the Foundation Stage. London: DFE. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/g...DFE-RR029.pdf  [Accessed 18 January 2016].

Department for Education., 2014. Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Runcorn: Department for Education.

Early Education., 2012. Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). London: Early Education.

Featherstone, S., 2001. The Little Book of Outdoor Play. Ideas for outdoor activities for the Foundation Stage. Husbands Bosworth: Featherstone Education Ltd.

Hillman, M., Adams,J. and Whitelegg, J., 1990. One False Move… A Study of Children’s Independent Mobility. London: Policy Studies Institute.

Joyce, R., 2012. Outdoor Learning, Past and Present. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Knight, S., 2009. Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Lilley, I., 1967. Friederich Frobel. A Selection from his Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Louv, R., 2008. Last Child in the Woods. New York: Algonquin Books.

Mirrahimi, S., Tawil, N., Abdullah, N.A.G., Surat, U. And Usman.I.M.S., 2011. Developing Conducive Sustainable Outdoor Learning: The Impact of Natural environment on Learning, Social and Emotional Intelligence. Procedia Engineering, 20, 380-388. Available from: http://www.sciencedi...877705811029900 [Accessed 18 April 2016].

McMillan, M., 1919. The Nursery School. London: J.M.Dent and Sons.

McNeish, D. and Roberts, H., 1995. Playing it Safe: Today’s Children at Play. Essex: Barnardos.

Moss, P. and Pence, A., 1994. Valuing Quality in Early Childhood Services. London: Paul Chapman.

Moyles, J., 2005. The Excellence of Play. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Nutbrown, C., 2012.  Foundations for Quality. The independent review of early education and childcare qualifications. Final Report . London: Crown Copyright. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/g...rown-Review.pdf [Accessed 25 April 2016].

Ouvry, M., 2000. Exercising Muscles and Minds. Outdoor play and the Early Years Curriculum. London: The National Early Years Network.

Pound, L., 2005. How Children Learn. From Montessori to Vygotsky- Educational Theories and Approaches Made Easy. London: Step Forward Publishing.

Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Taggart, B., 2004. Effective Pre-school Education: the Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) Project. A longitudinal study funded by the DfES 1997-2004: final report. London: DfES.

The National Trust, 2016. 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾. Swindon: The National Trust. Available from: http://www.nationalt...50-things-to-do [Accessed 22 April 2016].

Tovey, H., 2007. Playing Outdoors. Spaces and Places Risk and Challenge. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Unilever, 2016. The Truth about Dirt. London: Unilever. Available from: http://www.dirtisgoo...about-dirt.html [Accessed 18 April 2016].

Valentine, G. and McKendrick, J., 1997. Children’s Outdoor Play. Exploring Parental Concerns About Children’s Safety and the changing Nature of Childhood. Geoforum, 28 (2), 219-235. Available from: http://www.sciencedi...016718597000109 [Accessed 11 April 2016].

White, J., 2011. Outdoor Provision in the Early Years. London: Sage.

author: Michaela Machan
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featured article text: You could be forgiven for thinking that outdoor play is a relatively new phenomenon, driven by The National Trust (2016) and their ‘50 Things to do before you’re 11¾’ project. Children and being outside seems to be a recurrent theme in the media and with organisations, such as the National Trust, focused on reconnecting people with nature and the outside. Outdoor play is not a new construct; those of us who played outside throughout childhood have fond memories of being at one with nature.
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Development Matters: A landscape of possibilit...

May 27 2016 01:55 PM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

How many times have you thought that it would be easy to use Development Matters as a 'tick list'? Which managers have had heated meetings with staff who say that 'ticking off' aspects makes it so much easier to plan next steps? I know that here at FSF HQ we get many many requests to create a tick chart on Tapestry for staff to use, we always say 'No, absolutely not'. In this article, Nancy Stewart, who co-authored Development Matters, explains brilliantly why the tick sheet approach is not appropriate and explains the rationale behind the Development Matters statements.



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featured article text: How many times have you thought that it would be easy to use Development Matters as a 'tick list'? Which managers have had heated meetings with staff who say that 'ticking off' aspects makes it so much easier to plan next steps? I know that here at FSF HQ we get many many requests to create a tick chart on Tapestry for staff to use, we always say 'No, absolutely not'. In this article, Nancy Stewart, who co-authored Development Matters, explains brilliantly why the tick sheet approach is not appropriate and explains the rationale behind the Development Matters statements.
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Creative Diaries: Clay Work in the Early Years

Apr 22 2016 12:42 PM | Rebecca in Teaching and Learning

“Only through the arts and by being creative can children explore the inner world of their imagination and feeling – the world that is uniquely them”.

Sir Ken Robinson, Patron of Earlyarts.

 

‘One day a grandma was a parent helper teaching in one area of the room. After she watched me working with the children she pulled me aside to tell me her first experience with clay. She told me that the only thing she still has today from all her years of school is a little pinch pot she made when she was in her first year’. (Post, Date unknown). What is remarkable of this story is the importance that this grandma attached to this little object she made in clay some sixty years ago. All the maths, writing, worksheets she may have done as a child is all gone. The only artefact she valued enough to keep from her time in school is the one thing she made with her own hands. This demonstrates that things and experiences we value as human beings stay with us and we keep them close, but also the value of clay work in the earliest years of childhood



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Creative Diaries: Taking a line for a walk

Nov 12 2015 09:35 AM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

The provision of mark making opportunities can help children develop imaginatively, creatively and physically. Mark making is important for many reasons. It is a visible way for children to tell stories and express feelings, record what they have to say, solve problems and discover solutions – and sometimes it is just an outlet for pure physical enjoyment.



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Bruce, T. (2004) Cultivating Creativity in Babies, Toddlers and Young Children. London: Hodder and Stoughton Educational.

Matthews, J. (1999) The Art of Childhood and Adolescence: The Construction of Meaning. London: Falmer.

Department for Education (DfE) (2012) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Available at: https://www.educatio.../DFE-00023-2012

author: Ruksana Mohammed
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Capturing Children's Sparks

Oct 12 2015 09:58 AM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

It is often noted in literature that planning and teaching should be based around children’s interests. Through doing so, practitioners can enhance development and progress in each area of learning. The National Strategies for Early Years suggest that ‘children’s choices and interests are the driving force for building knowledge, skills and understanding’ (DfCSF, 2009, p.6). Therefore practitioners need to be attuned to children’s play, their conversations, and the activities that they participate in. This is so they can search for clues to each child’s interest, thus becoming what I call the interest catcher!



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Department for Children, Schools and Families (2009) The National Strategies Early Years: Learning, Playing and Interacting – Good Practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage. London: DfCSF.

Jones, E., & Nimmo, J. (1994) Emergent Curriculum. Washington, DC: NAEYC

Seltz, H.J. (2006) Innovative Practice. The Plan: Building on Children’s Interests. Beyond the Journal. Young Children on the Web.

Touhill, L. (2012) Interest-Based Learning. NQS PLP e-Newsletter No.37. 2012

author: Ruksana Mohammed
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featured article text: It is often noted in literature that planning and teaching should be based around children’s interests. Through doing so, practitioners can enhance development and progress in each area of learning. The National Strategies for Early Years suggest that ‘children’s choices and interests are the driving force for building knowledge, skills and understanding’ (DfCSF, 2009, p.6). Therefore practitioners need to be attuned to children’s play, their conversations, and the activities that they participate in. This is so they can search for clues to each child’s interest, thus becoming what I call the interest catcher! So what is an interest? ‘Interests’ are subjects, ideas, things, topics and events which fascinate and stimulate the curiosity of the child. I often hear practitioners concerns around capturing interests; How can I learn what children are interested in? How do we find out what children want to know? How can I cater for each individual interest? Is it possible to meet every child’s interest within the setting? The starting point is in being able to actually capture a ‘spark’ from a child’s interest that can then inform learning and development.
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Individuality Matters: The Curse of Development...

Aug 03 2015 10:41 AM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

The use of milestones in the form of development checklists do not take on the individuality of each child. They are generic and imply that all children go through the sequential process. This article aims to introduce the concept of individuality of each child with a focus on stepping away from the curse of the checklist.



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Department for Education (DfE) (2012) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Available at: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/AllPublications/Page1/DFE-00023-2012

Early Education (2012) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Early Education: London

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Objective-led Planning

Aug 02 2015 12:26 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

Many of the FSF members follow Alistair Bryce-Clegg's blog and have attended his very popular presentations. Following a discussion here about his innovative 'objective-led planning', we invited Alistair to explain this approach.



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featured article text: Objective-led planning has to be the most effective way of taking teaching into children’s play that I have ever used. With objective-led planning you would still group the children by ability based on assessment. Rather than having 'red group', 'blue group' etc for Mathematics or Communication and Language etc. It allows you to group your children by their specific need in each area of learning. So, children who need more support in talk development and less in fine motor can get just that, rather than being in one ability group for both.
Once you have decided on your teaching focus you group your children in relation to their attainment within that area.
For each group of children you would make a statement of their current performance in that area 'where they are now'.
Then you plan a 'next step' for each group.
It is the next step that you then take into the children's play. I would not call groups of children to me. The success of objective led planning is based on the fact that you go to them.
When you go and play alongside children you get high levels of engagement.
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Characteristics of Effective Learning: play and...

Jul 18 2015 03:01 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) are a revived element in the current Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). CoEL advocate that in planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn, and then reflect these in their practice. A child’s individual learning characteristic will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment. The focus of the CoEL is on how children learn rather than what they learn i.e. process over outcome. Underpinning the CoEL is the understanding that during their earliest years, children form attitudes about learning that will last a lifetime. Children who receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years will be creative, and adventurous learners throughout their lives. Children who do not receive this sort of support and interaction are likely to have a much different attitude about learning later on in life. Hence, why the supportive practitioner, and the environment they provide, need to nurture these CoELs to occur, but without forgetting that children are individuals who bring their own needs, talents and histories to the learning environment.



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Department for Children, School and Families (DCSF) (2007) The Early Years Foundation Stage: Effective Practice: Play and Exploration. DCSF publications.

Department for Education (DfE) (2012) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Available at: https://www.educatio.../DFE-00023-2012

Early Education (2012) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Early Education: London

Haughton, C and Ellis, C. (2013) Play in the early years in Palaiologou, I. (2013) (2ed) The Early Years Foundation Stage: Theory and Practice. Sage: London

Vygotsky, L. (1978) Mind in Society: the development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press: London.

author: Ruksana Mohammed
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featured article text: Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) are a revived element in the current Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). CoEL advocate that in planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn, and then reflect these in their practice. A child’s individual learning characteristic will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning identified by the EYFS are:

playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The focus of the CoEL is on how children learn rather than what they learn i.e. process over outcome. Underpinning the CoEL is the understanding that during their earliest years, children form attitudes about learning that will last a lifetime. Children who receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years will be creative, and adventurous learners throughout their lives. Children who do not receive this sort of support and interaction are likely to have a much different attitude about learning later on in life. Hence, why the supportive practitioner, and the environment they provide, need to nurture these CoELs to occur, but without forgetting that children are individuals who bring their own needs, talents and histories to the learning environment.
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Developing Sustained Shared Thinking to enhance...

Nov 25 2014 12:31 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

Kathy Brodie examines how Sustained Shared Thinking can be used to enhance the four areas of learning and development in the EYFS known as the Specific Areas: Mathematics, Expressive Arts and Design, Literacy and Understanding the World.



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Understanding and Developing Reflective Practice

Nov 15 2014 04:06 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

This article will focus on the need for early years practitioners to develop their knowledge of reflective thinking. It will focus on some of the history and theory of reflective practice considering and discussing how theory can help develop practitioners knowledge of how and when to use reflective thinking in day to day situations. It will then go onto to discuss how reflective practice relates to the plethora of policy and guidance documents used within early years practice. The final section will draw on specific examples to illustrate how reflective practice has helped make early years practice more inclusive.

 



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Businessballs (May 2006) Kolb's learning cycle,[online]  http://www.businessb.... LA 24.10.2013

Children's Workforce Development Council (2010) The common core of skills and knowledge, London, DCSF.

Department for Education, (2012) Early Years Foundation Stage, Cheshire. DFE.

Goldschmeid, E., & Jackson, S., (2003) People under three (2nd ed.) London, Taylor & Francis.

Early Education (2012) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation, London, Early Education.

Jackson, A. (2010) Defining and Measuring Quality in Early Years Settings, in Reed, M., & Cannings, N., (eds.) Reflective Practice in the Early Years, London, Sage.

McLeod Sam (2010) Kolb - Learning Styles Cycle, Simply Psychology.

Mezirow, J, (2003) Transformative Learning as Discourse. Journal of transformative education 1 (1) ps. 58 - 63

National College for teaching and leadership (2013) Early years teaching standards [online]https://www.gov.uk/g... L A 23.10.2013..

Pollard, A, et al(2002) Reflective teaching: Effective and Evidence Informed Professional Practice, London, Continuum.

Rosen, J G (no date) Problem solving and reflective thinking: John Dewey, in Flower and Richard Young, [online], L A 24.10.2013

Schon, (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, New York. Basic books.

Siraj-Blatchford,I., Sylva,K., Muttock,S., Gilden, R and Bell, D. (2002) Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years. Research Report No. 356, DFES, London:Routledge.

Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Manni, L. (2007) Effective Leadership in the Early Years sector (the ELEYS study), Issues in practice series. London. University of London Institute of Education.

Unicef(1989) United  Nations  Convention on the Rights of the Child, [online]  http://www.unicef.or...ts_overview.pdf  L A 24.10.2013

author: Penny Borkett
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featured article text: Over the last ten years reflective practice is a term which has been used in many universities and educational settings. However it is not a new phenomenon; in 1927 Mezirow identified reflective practice as being a 'transformative tool' when considering knowledge and situations. In 1933 Dewey defined reflective practice as making links between our current knowledge and new knowledge that is gained whilst focusing on how we, as early years practitioners feel about certain situations (Rosen -ND ). Donald Schon describes reflective practice as being 'professional artistry' (1987:22) going onto suggest that it is a complex concept which emphasises the need for practitioners to think about situations when they occur , and then to consider the same situation afterwards as a team, reflecting on whether or not the action taken was appropriate . In 1984 David Kolb introduced his learning styles cycle which, similarly to Schon, encourages practitioners to think about a new situation that has occurred focusing particularly on how a team reacts to that new situation. Kolb calls this concrete experience, and like Schon, Kolb accentuates the need to think after the event and consider how the situation could have been dealt with differently; this he calls reflective observation.
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Developing Sustained Shared Thinking to enhance...

Nov 15 2014 12:23 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

In this article, Kathy Brodie focuses on how sustained shared thinking can support each of the Prime areas of learning and development, as defined by the EYFS – Communication and Language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.



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Choosing 'Next Steps' from your observa...

Oct 14 2014 03:05 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

It is not always clear  how observations should be used to inform planning, assessments and evaluation of children's progress. Sometimes the huge array of choices can make choosing a next step a really confusing task.



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featured article text: One of the biggest concerns when the EYFS was first published was about doing observations of children. How will there be enough time? How could you observe every child? How much paperwork was this going to involve? Although some of these questions still exist, the vast majority of practitioners are now very good at doing observations. Most practitioners can write a range of different types of observations, can tune into their children's interests and have found methods of doing this accurately and in good time.
However, it is not always clear as to how these observations should be used to inform planning, assessments and evaluation of children's progress. These ‘Next Steps’ need to be appropriate for the children, as well as making best use of the observations made by practitioners. Translating observations into next steps can be very daunting. There is almost an infinite number of ways that you can use one observation to support a child’s learning and development. It could be that you have found one way of using your observations for next steps, but then always use this same method all the time. This may result in planning that is repetitive and may not cover every area of learning and development. On the other hand, it may be that you have not found a simple way of using observations to inform next steps. Sometimes the huge array of choices can make choosing a next step a really confusing task.

In this article, I will explore ways of creating effective next steps, linked to your observations. The first method is for people who like categories and headings. The second method is for those who prefer mind maps and spidergrams.
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Children, play and digital technologies

Jul 16 2014 12:06 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

This article is about young children playing with digital technologies at home and in their educational settings. It draws on a series of research studies conducted at the University of Stirling over a period of 10 years with my colleagues Professor Lydia Plowman and Joanna McPake.



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American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media (2011) Media Use by Children Younger than 2 Years Old. Pediatrics, 128, 5: 1040-1045. 

Kalaš I (2010) Recognizing the potential of ICT in early childhood education. UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, Moscow.

Palmer, S. (2006) Toxic Childhood: How the modern world is damaging our children and what we can do about it. London: Orion.

Plowman, L., Stephen, C., & McPake, J. (2010). Growing Up With Technology: Young Children Learning in a Digital World. London: Routledge.

Stephen, C., McPake, J. & Plowman, L. (2010). Digital technologies at home: The experiences of 3 and 4-year-olds in Scotland. In M.M. Clark & S. Tucker (Eds.), Early Childhoods in a Changing World (pp. 145-154). Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books.

Stephen, C., McPake, J., Plowman, L. & Berch-Heyman, S. (2008) Learning from the Children: Exploring Preschool Children's Encounters with ICT at Home. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 6(2): 99-117.

Stephen, C. & Plowman, L. (2008) Enhancing Learning with ICT in Preschool. Early Child Development and Care, 178(6): 637-654.

Stephen, C., Stevenson, O. & Adey, C. (2013) Young children engaging with technologies at home: the influence of family context. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(2):149-164.

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Characteristics of Effective Learning: creating...

Jun 25 2014 11:29 AM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

This article is the third and final in our series on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, following on from Play and Exploration in Action and Active Learning in Action.



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Department for Children, School and Families (DCSF) (2007) The Early Years Foundation Stage: Effective Practice: Creativity and Critical Thinking. DCSF publications.

Department for Children, School and Families (DCSF) (2008) The Early Years Foundation Stage: Effective Practice Cards: Creativity and Critical Thinking. DCSF publications.

Department for Education (DfE) (2012) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Available at: https://www.educatio.../DFE-00023-2012

Early Education (2012) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Early Education: London

Hutchin, V. (2013) Effective Provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage: An Essential Guide. Open University Press: Berkshire

Nutbrown, C. (2011) Threads of Thinking. 4th ed. Paul Chapman: London.

Siegler, R.S and Alibali, MW. (2005) Children’s Thinking. Pearsons: New Jersey.Whitebread, D. and Pasternak, D. (2010) Metacognition, Self Regulation and Meta Knowing. In K. Littleton, C. Wood, J. and Kleine Staarman (eds) International Handbook of Psychology in Education. Bingley, UK: Emerald

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Give your book corner a makeover!

Mar 03 2014 02:03 PM | Helen in Teaching and Learning

What children need in settings is a chance to spend quality time with an adult, with reading material that excites the children’s interests, in a space that is inviting.

 



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Festivals: Hanukkah

Nov 28 2012 12:00 AM | Guest in Teaching and Learning

Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is the Jewish Festival of Lights. The word Hanukkah means ‘rededication’, and it is a time for celebrating a great miracle in Jewish history and for showing hope and dedication against all the odds. The festival lasts for eight days, and this year it begins on the evening of Saturday 8th December and ends on the evening of Sunday 16th December. Juliet Mickelburgh outlines the festival and suggests some lovely activities to carry out with your children.



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Which Came First, the Forest or the School?

Sep 06 2011 12:00 AM | Guest in Teaching and Learning

Sara Knight, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Anglia Ruskin University, discusses the historical meanings of "schooling" and their relevance to today's young children. She outlines four ways in which we learn, and explains her concerns regarding an over-reliance on one of these ways: instruction. Sara argues that the Forest School approach helps children acquire the learning skills and dispositions essential for them to adapt to an uncertain future in the 21st century.

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Using Music to Support Foundation Stage Learning

Jan 18 2011 12:00 AM | Guest in Teaching and Learning

Mary E. Maunder presents musical activities to support young children's development and learning across the six areas



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Using the TASC system in EYFS Settings

Jan 11 2011 12:00 AM | Guest in Teaching and Learning

Belle Wallace, creator of the TASC framework for developing children's thinking and problem-solving skills, explains how significant the relationship is between the acquisition of language and the development of thought.

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Educational Pioneers: Loris Malaguzzi, 1920-1994

Dec 16 2010 12:00 AM | Guest in Teaching and Learning

A brief history and summary of the theories and practical aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach. Malaguzzi had a deep sense of respect for children's ability to be partners in their own learning, and this is at the heart of the Reggio approach to education. He is well known for his expression ‘the hundred languages of children', by which he meant that children understand the world and communicate their thoughts in so many different ways.

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